Education and Schools
Children growing up in Ashford have access to a good choice of education facilities from pre-school right up until college.
Ashford is home to 53 ‘good’ and ‘outstanding’ primary and secondary schools, including two independent schools, two Grammar schools, as well as the impressive Ashford College. Its state-of-the-art campus is located in the town centre, offering undergraduate courses and apprenticeships, whether full-time or part-time.
Ashford School is an independent school for children aged three months to 18 years old.
The school has won a number of awards, including the Inspiration Teacher Award and Support Staff of the Year Award at United Learning’s Best in Everyone Awards 2021. It was also shortlisted for the Student Initiative of the Year category in the 2021 TES Independent School Awards.
The school is divided into two campuses: the nursery and senior school in the town centre, close to the train station, and the prep school set in rural Great Chart, three miles from Ashford. To make it easy for pupils and parents, the school runs early morning shuttle buses from the town centre to Great Chart for a stress-free morning commute!
Highworth Grammar School
Highworth Grammar School aims to help students achieve their full potential and become life-long learners. Students are prepared for their futures with a broad curriculum, a range of extra-curricular opportunities and regular careers education, information, advice and guidance.
GCSE and A Level examination results are above the national average. In 2023, 64% of students gained at least five Grade 7s or above at GCSE and 69% of all grades achieved were A*-B grades at A Level.
The students at Highworth are highly motivated and keen to participate in activities which celebrate diversity and respect for others. The school offers regular opportunities for students to develop and share their interests and talents in a supportive and inspiring environment.
Lady Joanna Thornhill Endowed Primary School
Lady Joanna Thornhill Endowed Primary School has been rated as ‘outstanding’ during its latest inspections.
Ofsted recently quoted about the school: ‘Outstanding teaching inspires and motivates pupils to work hard in all subjects. As a result, pupils have a passion for learning and take great pride in their achievements.’
Located in Wye, the school is one of the many primary schools in the Ashford borough that inspires children to learn and improve their results. It offers a ‘curriculum based on enrichment and experiential learning, where children have opportunities to learn outside and to be creative.’
Great Chart Primary School
Great Chart Primary School in south Ashford has an ‘outstanding’ rating (June 2023) with 420 pupils aged 4-11 years old attending.
The most recent Ofsted inspection in June 2023 stated the school has the highest expectations for all of its pupils. The report also found children thrive, behaviour is impeccable and they take great care of each other and their school.
In 2023, 75% of Key Stage 2 pupils achieved the expected standard in reading, writing and maths, compared to an average of 59% across England. Plus, children have the opportunity to use an impressive outdoor gym or enjoy the peace of the sensory garden.
Young people have the opportunity to stay local and study in first-class facilities at the Ashford College on Elwick Road.
With high-quality teaching, state-of-the-art facilities and strong connections with local employers, the college helps its students onto the next step, whether that further training, higher education or a job. Ashford College supports a number of specialist pathways, including Art and Design, Computing, Engineering, Health and Social Care and Music.
The college is part of the EKC Group, which operates six colleges in East Kent and is heavily involved in the local community. EKC Group is positioned to deliver the solutions the business community in Kent needs to meet the challenges of the future. From unlocking the potential of thousands of skilled students, to working alongside business to directly develop a curriculum that’s right for their growth aspirations, their aim is to make their resources available to you for the benefit of the communities they serve.
Due to Ashford’s strategic location, there are a number of universities easily accessible from the borough.
15 minutes by train, Canterbury is home to the University of Kent, Canterbury Christ Church University and University of the Creative Arts.
Taking the train to London means that in less than 40 minutes you are a short walk from the many universities and colleges near St Pancras International station. These include UCL, University of Westminster, City University of London, SOAS and University of the Arts London.